LOS ANGELES — Doctors say a 15-year-old boy shot in the head Thursday at his Los Angeles middle school should make a full recovery.
In a news conference Thursday afternoon, police said they arrested a 12-year-old girl, who is also accused of shooting a 15-year-old girl in the wrist. Three others ranging in age from 11 to 30 suffered minor cuts and scrapes.
The 15-year-old boy was shot in the left temple area. Doctors say they were able to talk to him when he came in but that his condition deteriorated as he began vomiting. They decided to intubate him. Although his condition is serious, they are optimistic about his recovery.
“He was lucky,” one doctor said and agreed when a reporter asked him if the boy’s wound was ‘a matter of inches’ away from death.
Watch in the video player above a police news briefing that FOX4 livestreamed.
Police arrested the female student and recovered a gun after the shooting that happened just before 9 a.m. at Salvador B. Castro Middle School, west of the city’s downtown.
Television news footage showed a girl with dark hair wearing a sweatshirt being led out of the school in handcuffs a short time later.
“The information that we received… right now… the person of interest is 12-years-old. This is preliminary information that we have received,” police said at the news conference.
Police cars blocked off an intersection near the school and parents gathered at the street corner, talking on their phones and awaiting word on their children.
Gloria Echeverria was waiting outside a line of police tape preventing people from approaching the school, waiting for news about her 13-year-old son.
“I’m just hoping it has nothing to do with him,” she said. “I’m just scared for all the kids — school is supposed to be a safe place for them, and apparently it’s not.”
Steve Zipperman, chief of the Los Angeles Unified School District police force, said the school’s campus remained on lockdown later in the morning but had been declared safe.
“We will attend to the needs of these students who witnessed this very carefully, with the understanding this is very traumatic,” Zipperman said. “We have our school mental health folks that are here to support the needs of the students.”
Police and leaders worked Thursday to secure the school to be sure there are no accomplices.
“As a parent this is everyone’s worse case nightmare,” said Chief Robert Arcos, deputy chief of the Central Bureau. “The response from the Los Angeles Fire Department, the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles School Police Department was extraordinary.”
Students at middle and high schools in Los Angeles middle are subject to daily random searches for weapons using metal-detector wands.
The Los Angeles Unified School District has a policy that requires every middle and high school campus to conduct daily random searches at different hours of the school day for students in the sixth grade and up.
An audit released in April found 10 percent of schools did not conduct daily searches and one-fourth did not have enough metal detector wands.
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Below are pictures from KTLA-TV: